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The Private Rented Sector

There is a high demand for social housing and many people find that they either face a long wait for one of these tenancies or that their circumstances make this type of housing an unrealistic option, at least in the short term. 

This leaves the Private Rented Sector (PRS) as the only realistic option for finding somewhere to live quickly in many cases. Whilst a property in the PRS is usually more expensive than housing association properties it is likely that there will be a wider choice. 

You will need to consider:

  • where you would like to live
  • the size and type of accommodation you would like
  • whether you can afford the property, consider the amount of rent you will have to pay including household bills
  • whether you will have to pay rent in advance, a deposit and/or fees for reference checks
  • whether you can get housing benefit, download the Local Housing Allowance rates
  • how long the accommodation is available for
  • is the accommodation furnished or unfurnished
  • what type of tenancy you will have and for how long.

You might want to use an online money management tool to help with the things mentioned above. Please visit the Money Advice Service website or alternatively you could visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

It is important to remember that if you do not pay your rent you are likely to become homeless and could struggle to rent other houses in the future.


If your tenancy started after 6 April 2007 and you paid your landlord a deposit it needs to be protected in a Deposit Protection Scheme. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information about the Deposit Protection Scheme. Your landlord should pay the deposit into an approved scheme and give you information about which scheme they have used. Your deposit needs to be protected within 30 days of you paying it to your landlord.

When you eventually move out of the property you should speak to your landlord and agree the amount of the deposit that you will get back. The landlord will usually want to visit the property after you have moved out before they will agree this figure. Once the amount is agreed the landlord should pay it to you within 10 days. All schemes provide a free dispute resolution service.

How to rent

From 1 October 2015 landlords must issue tenants with the how to rent guide. Visit the GOV.UK website for the how to rent guide. It aimed at tenants and landlords in the private rented sector and has been created to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities. It includes key information on what to look out for before renting, living in a rented home, the process at the end of the tenancy and what to do if something goes wrong. 

Right to rent

Under the new Government ‘Right to rent’ Legislation which came into effect from the 1 February 2016, every landlord must check the original identification documents for each person over the age of 18 living in their property. To ensure that landlords are operating in line with this Legislation, they will need to see each person with their identification intending to live in their property over the age of 18. A passport (current or expired) or a National Identity Card (current or expired) will be required. If you do not have either of these documents you will need to provide a full birth or adoption certificate along with a current full or provisional photo card UK driving licence. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on the right to rent documents.

The Tenancy Relations Service

The Tenancy Relations Service is provided by the Council for the benefit of private sector landlord, tenants, leaseholders who own or live in properties in the Telford and Wrekin area. It aims to promote good relations between landlords and tenants and to encourage good practice in the rental sector. Most new tenancies in the PRS are set up as assured shorthold tenancies and are generally for either an initial six or twelve-month period. You should make sure that before you sign an agreement that you read it carefully and agree with the terms that are set out. You should get advice about anything that you are unclear about. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information about Private Rented Housing or visit the Housing Shelter website for advice and support.

The private sector housing team provide confidential advice and guidance on a range of tenancy issues to both private tenants and landlords. 

  • Tenancy agreements.
  • Obligations on commencement of a tenancy.
  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s).
  • Protecting a deposit.
  • Rent accounts.
  • Mediation.
  • Ending a tenancy.
  • Completing notices.
  • Harassment and illegal eviction.
  • Possession procedures.

If you would like to find out more or require advice and guidance, please contact the Tenancy Relations team on 01952 381875 or 01952 381877.

Last updated: 10/01/2023 13:29

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